Best Japanese School in Tokyo

Are you looking for the Best Japanese School in Tokyo? There are many Schools in Tokyo –  Coto Japanese Academy is the Best Japanese School in Tokyo

Japanese schools typically make you enroll for a year long period with inflexible start dates – this means that you have a large upfront cost and that you don’t have much flexibility.

What is great about Coto Japanese Academy?

  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Small Group Sizes (8 Persons Max)
  • Friendly Teachers

If you are interested in hearing about the experiences of students that have studied Japanese in Tokyo at Coto Academy – you can visit their google reviews.

I personally have taken their intensive Japanese course which offered a good mix of speaking – writing – and reading practice.

Using the genki textbook for the beginner levels – their classes focus on providing students with ample opportunity to speak Japanese and get comfortable with sentence patterns and standardized pronunciation which I really appreciated.


Quick Update – Guide to Registering for the JLPT – Japanese Language Proficiency Test – 2015

If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far by living in Japan, it’s that Japanese websites love text and html… lots of html.

The JLPT registration process is no exception to this rule. The registration deadline for the second test in 2015 is 9/30/2015!!! So do your best to register quickly. The next JLPT test date is 12/06/2015

Step 1) Visit and register for your MyJLPT ID

Step 2) After you have been given your ID, login here: Once you login with your MyJLPT ID, fill out the application form and pay 5,500 Yen by credit card.  If you are in Japan, you can also pay via combini.  The confirmation of application acceptance won’t happen until the close of the registration deadline, but they will confirm on your application that you are all paid up.

You will receive the test voucher in the mail, and if you’re lucky you may be selected for the practice test which will allow you to take a practice test one month early and get paid 2,000 yen for your troubles.  This is done by a lottery and I have no information on how applicants are selected, so don’t ask!

It’s as easy as that.  Are you taking the JLPT?  Leave a comment

Learning Japanese With Star Wars

Last night I dusted off my StarWars Trilogy DVD and popped in A New Hope with Japanese Audio.  Just like our learning Japanese with the bible series, the rationale here is that if you are extremely familiar with the source material and context it will be much easier to pick up words and recognize them while watching.

Plus, you get to watch STAR WARSSSSS!!!!!!!  Here are a few clips that I found on youtube to wet your appetite;

Due to the restrictive nature of Star Wars as an intellectual property, its pretty hard to find a japanese dub on youtube.

Butttt… the good news is that will ship worldwide.  You can get the original trilogy for about $25 plus shipping here.

In a future series, I will be breaking down famous scenes from Star Wars in Japanese, so stay tuned!!!

But in the meantime Bonus I have included this StarWars Day list courtesy of JapanesePod101

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Jedi Knight



Jedi Knight

Luke Skywalker



Luke Skywalker

I am your father.



I am your father.

These aren't the droids you're looking for.



These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

Use the Force!



Use the Force!

Integrated Learning: Android Development and Learning Language – Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese

App Inventor
Screenshot of MIT App Inventor

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Want to make an android application? Want to learn a language at the same time?  Don’t know how to code? No Problem. You can develop Android applications, learn the basics of coding, and develop final products, WHILE LEARNING YOUR TARGET LANGUAGE. Read more below to find out how.

I am using the MIT App Inventor which you can get access to here:, it comes with a point and click app designer, as well as a point and click coding interface and many video tutorials geared towards absolute beginners.  The Idea being that coding should be accessible to everyone, MIT has crafted an amazing tool that allows you to develop simple mobile applications that you can publish to the android store.

So how am I using this to learn language?

I am building an application that displays a random verse of scripture in English and Japanese with a vocabulary list that displays the kanji. You can see the beginnings of it in the screenshot above.

If you have ever seen the last lecture by the late carnegie mellon professor Randy Pausch, he speaks about “headfake” learning, the idea being that by taking the focus off of learning and participating in activities where the concepts of what you want to learn are used, you are able to learn much more efficiently.

I have noticed that using app inventor is so fun that I do not mind studying the vocabulary in order to build the application. It’s a twofer!

Setup is very simple, you just need to download a 99mb tool kit if you want to run an android emulator for the program that you are building and everything else is cloud based.  You retain rights for everything that you develop so you can publish the application later to the google play store and monetize it!

It’s a win win win.

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What I learned taking the JLPT N4 Practice Test – Steps to study going forward.

Yesterday My wife and I were able to have the opportunity to take the JLPT N4 Practice exam.

Here are the key take-aways.

1) You know much less Kanji than you think you do.

2) You know much less Grammar than you think you do.

3) You know much less than you think you do.

I would say that after 6 months of study, we were able to fail respectably.  However in the next two weeks, we have time to prepare.

Here is our course of action –

Memrise –

Tae Kim’s guide to Grammar Course

JLPT Bootcamp – JLPT N4 Course

JapanesePod101 –

JapanesePod101 – NEW JLPT N4 Prep Course  (Under the bonus courses section)

We will both try to study for about 3-4 hours per day for the next two weeks in order to obtain a passing Grade.

I had an unfortunate experience of sitting next to a very urusai person who scribbled loud notes during the listening section. Note to Self – Keep coffee intake light.

Please wish us luck!!!!

JLPT N4 Resources – Study Update

Between going on vacation and hanging out with Domo-Kun, getting sick, and playing airsoft, we have been unfortunately neglecting the regular updates of this blog!  We apologize!!!


However, we have some good news!  Both of us have registered for the JLPT N4 Exam.  The exam is 3 months away, taking place on July 5th.

In order to mark this momentous occasion, I have compiled a list of Study Resources geared towards the JLPT N4 Exam.

1) JapanesePod101 Prep Course

JPod101 has a prep course geared directly towards preparing you for the JLPT N4 Exam.

It explains what to expect during the exam and how to prepare for it, it also discusses some of the most commonly used vocabulary in an innovative “meta” way.

2) The JLPT Level N4 Study Page

This page provides a comprehensive vocabulary, kanji, grammar, and idioms guide.  It also gives examples of past tests and quizzes.  All in all a great resource.  However, beware that this page adheres to the previous format of the test so some of the information about the test itself may be a bit dated.  There is also a link to a JLPT study forum.

3) JLPT Bootcamp N4 Official Workbook

An older article, but should still be quite useful.

4) Nihongo Ichiban JLPTN4 Study Material

A slick and stylish well compiled site.  Some repeated material, but seems to be quite up to date.

5) Anki JLPT Decks

Good list of anki practice decks for all levels of jlpt.

I took an n5 practice test the other day and did well.  I hope that n4 affords a considerable challenge.  And after we pass it, it will be on to N2!

Registering for the exam has done wonders for my motivation.  It has given me a renewed commitment to my Japanese learning.

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Japanese Airsoft Vocabulary – サバイバルゲーム

Airsoft – in Japan, is referred to as サバイバルゲーム or Sa Ba I Ba Ru gamu – Sabage for Short.  It is kind of like paintball, only it can be done without ruining the carpet.

Here are some pictures from our last game:    IMGP6339

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Throughout the course of playing with Japanese people, I quickly realized that I should probably learn some Airsoft Japanese

Here is a list of Japanese Airsoft Vocabulary Terms;

アサルトライフル – Asarutoraifuru – Assault Rifle

カムフラージュ – Kamufurāju – Camoflauge

ヒット- Hitto – Way to say that youre hit!  (You can also say – ヒットとります – hitto torimasu – I’ve been hit)


近接戦闘(CQB)- Kinsetsu sentō (CQB) – There are generally two types of airsoft – close quarters indoor and outdoor. CQB refers to close quarters airsoft.

グルーピング – Gurūpingu – Grouping – Where your bullets hit, showing a sign of accuracy.

スコープ – Sukopu – Scope – Aiming sight for a sniper rifle.

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援護 –  Engo – Cover/ Suppcort – Asking for covering fire.

援護射撃 – Engo shageki – Covering Fire!  ( Used to request cover fire.)

右 – Migi – Right  (Used to indicate direction.)

左 – Hidari – Left (Used to indicate direction.)

あそこ – Asoko – Over There

います – Imasu – Theres someone!  – You can say this to indicate that there is someone waiting around a corner.

アイアンサイト – Aian saito – Iron Sight – Metal sight connected to the gun and used for aiming.

レイル – Reiru – Rail – Refers to a rail attachment system that guns use so that they can add attachments.  Very popular!

援護に回れ – engo ni maware – Go provide support!


I will be adding to this list in the coming weeks so check back for more updates!

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Top 5 Funny Japanese Body Language Gestures

Japan is an interesting place and most foreigners will find things that they don’t understand.  One of the most comically different things is Japanese body gestures and body language.

Check out these five funny gestures below! More Japanese Lessons!


Please! / I’m sorry!

You can ask please by putting your hands together and saying onegaishimasu.  You can also use this gesture to say that you are sorry!



If you want to ask if someone is talking about you you can point to your nose and upturn your eyebrows. You can also ask “Watashi?” while doing this.

come here

“Come here for a minute!” / “come here!”

By limp wristedly flapping your wrist up and down with a downturned palm, you can beckon for someone to come over to you!  It is the equivalent of the curled finger motion, but with non sexually suggestive undertones.


“They’re arguing!”

By straightening your two index fingers and alternately crossing their paths (think itsy bitsy spider), you can let someone know that an argument is happening.  You do not need to use words with this gesture.


“No Way!”

By waving your hand in front of your face as if you are batting away a cloud of noxious smell, you can signal that you are in complete disagreement!  It is just like saying “no way!” in English!

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Traveling To Tokyo, Japan – Top 5 Japanese Survival Phrases

So you’ve booked your flights…. you’re ready to cosplay, eat pocky, and go to akihabara where you will procure the latest and greatest in fan fiction.  You might even hit up a maid cafe while you’re at it.

Before you get ahead of yourself, here are the top 5 Japanese phrases that you can get around without being a toolbag.

1) 一つ ください (hi – to – tsu ku-da-sa-i) ——-(or if you’re a hick “he tote sue koo duh sa ee” but like fast and stuff)

This phrase is used in combination with pointing at something that you want to order or purchase and saying hitotsu kudasai.  it literally translates to one please.

2) すみません sumimasen (sue me ma sen if you’re an american dummy)

Sumimasen is a polite form of saying sorry, the english equivalent would be pardon me.  You can use it as a way to get a waiter / waitress’ attention by shouting sumimasen in a restaurant.   It can also be used to express an apology when you step on someones toes in the subway or bump into them on the street.  It’s a polite way to say sorry.

3) ちょっと chotto (cho toe if you’re a fool)

Chotto means a little bit. Its useful for when you want to describe how much mayonaise you want these insane maniacs to put on your pizza.  (they really do put mayonaise on pizza…. google it.)  But it can also be used when you want to decline something, useful if you’re a girl and some guy is hassling you to take your picture. Just lightly say chotto and roundhouse kick the dude in the mutton chops.

4) びる おねいがいします - biru oneigaishimasu (beeru oh neigh guy she mah sue)

Self explanatory, beer, very useful, Japan has a large beer culture, many opportunities to ask for beer.  Not really many uses for this one, but very important as some japanese will not understand if you pronounce it with an american accent.  As an aside, try adding u to most things (pronounced oo) about 10% of japanese words are english words with u added on the end.  Source: My Imagination

5) えきわどこですか - eki wa doko desu ka (eck ee wah dough koe dess kah for all of you foolios)

Where is the subway station.  Very useful if you’ve had a lot of beer.  You can use this grammar structure – place wa doko desu ka to ask where anything is.  Very useful if you know the name of the place in Japanese.

So what do you think?  What word would you add.  Leave a comment below!

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